MU notes: Monday, September 8

As the Tigers prepare for Eastern Illinois on Saturday, Inside Mizzou has the latest on a defensive lineman that could be returning soon, and just how well Brad Smith is doing after his concussion on Saturday.

Gary Pinkel has yet to play a true freshman, including wide receiver Brad Ekwerekwu. On the depth chart, Ekwereku is at second string behind Darius Outlaw, but he has yet to see a snap.

The freshman who looked to have the best chance to play, defensive lineman Xzavie Jackson, could be back in practice early next week.

* Another lineman, redshirt freshman Brian Smith, has three sacks in the first two games after getting two at Ball State. Smith is on pace to break Justin Smith's record of 11. However, he's not the first one to be on this pace. He can ask Antwaun Bynum, who was paced at one time last season for 20, but finished with 10.

"One of my goals since I've been here is to break Missouri's record for sacks in a season," Brian Smith said.

* Another Smith, Brad, is fine. He said he barely had a headache from his minor concussion against Ball State, and he will be behind center against Eastern Illinois on Saturday. He practiced with the team on Sunday night. His backup, Sonny Riccio, has gained confidence after his 7-for-12 performance that went for 59 yards in the second half as the Tigers wound down the clock. Riccio had a horrible summer, but he was glad to see he played well in the game.

"We were out there having fun in the huddle," Riccio said. "We picked up the tempo out there, and some of their guys got tired. They didn't just have me handing the ball off out there; they let me throw it as well."

* So it turns out Damien Nash won't average –1 yards a game this season. Nash got his first real opportunity to run this season against Ball State, and he took advantage of it. Nash rushed for 68 yards and a touchdown. Look for more on Nash later this week on Inside Mizzou.

* Missouri wants to remind fans that the Tiger Walk will start at 11 a.m., where fans can cheer the Tigers as they cross Providence to Memorial Stadium for the home opener. Missouri will also be giving out Brad Smith posters at the game.

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